GraceFit Guide week 5 update: phase 2

GF8WG WEEK 5
Left is week 4, right is week 5

Wooohooo I’ve completed the first phase of GraceFit Guide workouts!

In my last post, I mentioned that I had lost my mojo and had given up with the guide for the week. I would love to say that I’m a completely changed woman and all I needed was a break from it for a week but that’s not strictly true. However, from doing week 5 I have noticed significant progress and that has motivated me to keep going.

Before I jump into the differences in the new guide I want to highlight some things I’ve noticed from doing phase one.

I am stronger – this may not seem like a lot to some people, but I used to only manage to do arm weights using 3kg dumb bells; I can now use 7kg or even 8kg dumbbells! When I started the Gracefit guide, I was leg pressing 50kg both legs and now I am pressing 90kg both legs and single legs has gone from 20kg to 50kg! I am really proud of myself for getting stronger.

My balance and co-ordination has improved – I didn’t realise this would change, but by incorporating moves like single leg lunges and step ups I have improved my balance and co-ordination. I used to wobble all over the place and now I can keep myself balanced. I have also strengthened my core which helps with stability.

I’ve gained weight– I have technically gained a few pounds, but I feel a lot leaner in myself and my clothes are loser so I must be losing fat and gaining muscle.

I’ve fallen in love with HIIT again – On an upper body day, I add in 10 minutes of treadmill sprints and then 10 minutes of incline walking. And on lower body days I do one or the other because my legs are just too tired afterwards. I feel like this has really helped me to get a bit leaner and has made me realise how fun HIIT can be in small doses.

I still need to replace my resistance band – As some lovely person stole my brand new RB, I’ve been doing the exercises without one which I’m sure defeats the point as some of them are specific RB exercises. I need to order another band but I keep forgetting!

What’s different in the new phase?

The workouts are more challenging and contain many new exercises which I haven’t tried before. The rep range is relatively the same and it doesn’t include suggested weights weight (what a mouthful) but you are meant to build upon this from the last phase. I had stopped getting as sore after doing the phase one leg workout, but after completing the phase two leg day I could barely walk down the stairs on the same day, let alone the next couple of days, so it must be a lot more challenging.

Learning new exercises is challenging and I do feel like I’ve gone back to square one in terms of my confidence, simply because I had gotten used to following a set routine. I’m still not sure if I’m performing all the exercises in the new phase and using the equipment correctly but I guess that will happen in time. As this is my first week I have been substituting some of the new exercises for older ones that I’m familiar with while I get my bearings.

Aflete app

I’ve only just learnt about the Aflete app, even though loads of the girls in the Facebook group have been using it from the beginning of the guide. It’s a smartphone app that’s free to download (and use if you have purchased the GraceFit Guide) and it automatically loads the Guide and tracks your progress. It allows you to log how much weight you’ve done and any notes on the exercises so it’s useful to review progress. If you’re just starting the guide I would recommend downloading Aflete, however, if like me, you’ll be missing a whole month it might not be as valuable to you. You can find it here. 

Hope you’re enjoying my updates, if you want to learn more feel free to follow me on twitter where I talk about it quite a lot @hannahgetshench and follow me on Bloglovin so you don’t miss a post 🙂

Fitness clothes that will actually make you want to workout

fitness wishlist

The better you feel at the gym, the harder you work…right?

Since I’ve switched to lifting, I’ve had more opportunity to wear nice gym clothes that don’t get ruined by cardio sweat. I’ve said goodbye to my baggy tees and upgraded on the active wear front.

(Read about how I’ve found doing the GraceFit strength training guide here)

I thought I’d show you a few pieces that I’ve been lusting after recently, including a cool new brand that I’ve just discovered.

Ariana Burgundy legging – Peaches Sportswear

peaches sportswear

I found Peaches Sportswear through Instagram and I can’t believe no one has raved about them sooner. These leggings are perfect to show off your booty gains and I love the stripes panels.

Nike Pro Classic Skew

nike sports bra

Nike always has the coolest prints on its wear. I like pairing a vibrant pattern like this sports bra with some simple black bottoms.

Nike Dry Miler Top

Nike top

Another amazing print, you can feel like a fitness loving Dalmatian when you wear this top in the gym or out running.

Pink Soda Sports – Brushed Metallic Leggings

pink soda sports leggings

These leggings tick all the boxes for me. I love the grey colour, the mesh panels and a high waistband. I like how all the pieces in the pink soda collections work together despite not being in the same series; I have a black sports bra from last year that would still look good with these leggings.

H&M crop top

h&m top cobalt

I love the colour Cobalt blue but I find it quite difficult to wear in everyday life, mainly because my favourite colours are black, oat and khaki, so this top is the perfect to get my colour fix.

Nike pro hyper classic padded in peach

nike sports bra

How gorgeous is this peach colour? This sports bra would look fabulous with grey bottoms or black ones! Plus it has removable pads, so it gives support and makes all the small boobed girls happy (aka me).

Baylis Grey Ribbed Leggings – Peaches Sportswear

peaches sportswear 2

Another peaches sportswear piece. Incase you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with grey leggings at the moment, which is weird because I hate grey jeans with a passion! The high waisted style and thick fabric of these grey leggings makes them look like they’d be really flattering. But the question is are they squat proof?

Adidas Jumper

adidas jumper

Oh my word, I have major feels for this jumper. It looks so soft and cosy and perfect to throw on when you’re walking home from the gym. Or lounging around in. The print is very 90s and makes me want to put my hair in a scrunchy and rave the night away.

Hope you liked my fitness gear picks! I have linked to all the pieces in the text so you can find them easily. These are all my own picks and not sponsored or affiliated either. If you know of any good new brands please share in the comments below 🙂

 

If lady Gaga gets body shamed, what chance do we have?

Lady gaga superbowl half time body shaming
Image source: E Online

Does anyone else feel like the world has literally turned upside down? Donald Trump is in the White House and all people can talk about is Lady Gaga having a tiny ounce of fat on her stomach while performing at the Superbowl half time show.

In case you didn’t see it, Lady Gaga KILLED IT. She was as amazing as always. She danced and sang her heart out and dropped from the ROOF of the Superbowl, which is scary as fuck anyway, regardless of the fact she had to start singing to billions of people straight after.

I missed the live half time show (because I live in the UK and I didn’t fancy sleeping at my desk the next day at work) but I caught up with Gaga’s performance the next morning. Before I’d managed to watch the footage, I had already read at least five different bodyshaming headlines about Gaga’s choice of costume. Nothing about her amazing performance, just about her belly.

Ok, so bear in mind these were articles from terrible sites and non-credible news sources, but the thing that annoyed me the most were people’s comments on social media:

The person who tweeted that also retweets a lot of Donald Trump so you get the picture of what he’s like….
I know that people like to trash celebrities because it makes them feel better, and perhaps the comments were blown out of proportion, but what kind of message are we sending to women and young girls?

You are only as good as your body? You can be one of the most successful, talented and hardworking performers on the planet, but until you shift that bit of body fat you aren’t as good as someone with a flat stomach?

I AM SO SICK OF LIVING IN A WORLD OF SUCH HIGH STANDARDS

I AM TIRED OF LIVING IN A WORLD WHERE NO ONE CAN HAVE A TUMMY

I’ve mentioned this one before, but why does the media try and force women to be ashamed about having a tummy? Everyone has a tummy. Maybe some people have less fat on their stomachs than others, but they will still have some form of a tummy. I don’t get it. It’s the kernel of so much anxiety, low self-esteem and self-hatred for most women, but it’s a completely natural part of our bodies and if we all excepted this fact then the world we be a much happier place.

STOP SCRUTINISING WOMEN BASED ON THEIR APPEARANCE

Anyway, my point is that body shaming and sexism is still very prominent in our society (lol as if you didn’t know that already!) If she wasn’t being bodyshamed, she would probably have been slut shamed, or told that she’s being too weird.

However, there ARE loads of positive people out there that don’t believe that your looks are the most important thing. We must champion this thought and make it normal to look like a human as opposed to an airbrushed waxwork model!

Go GAGA!

GF8WG week 4 update: Losing my mojo

Adidas hoody on girl

It’s week four of the GraceFit Guide and I have lost my mojo. Not completely, but I haven’t felt as eager to work out and eat as healthily as I did previously.  It had to happen sometime didn’t it? I couldn’t transform my life and become this new person who is always motivated to go to the gym in four weeks.

I didn’t go to the gym as much as I wanted to this week, partly because I was away with work for two days, but also because on one of the days I just felt rubbish and I didn’t want to go. What I wanted to do was eat an entire bar of galaxy chocolate and watch my favourite program in bed. And that’s exactly what I did.

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GF8WG week 3 update & feminist rant

Hannah gets hench week 3 GF8WG
Sorry for the grainy iphone pics!

Hi lovely people, can you believe I’ve been doing the GraceFit guide for three-weeks now? So much has changed since I purchased the guide. I’d barely even recognise the shy noodle who once crept around the cardio floor three-weeks ago!

I wanted to take some actual good-quality progress pictures this weekend, but I didn’t get round to doing it (it’s really hard when you live in England and get about 3 hours of natural light a day!) so you have to put up with my rubbish Iphone pictures I’m afraid. Week-four will be the PROPER progress picture week I swear!

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GF8WG Week 2 update

Gracefit guide week 2 update
Source: Ornella Binni via Unsplash

Howdy y’all! It’s time for my Grace Fit Guide or GF8WG update!

The second week really has flown by but I’ve managed to stick to the five workouts a week and follow the programme like the annoying teacher’s pet I am. I wanted to upload some actual pictures of my body, but I recently moved apartments and everything has been chaotic this week so I just haven’t got round to it. I promise I will get some decent photos for my three week update.

If you read my previous blog, you’ll know that the workouts are the same for the first 4 weeks, then they change to a new one. So, for the last week I have still been getting to grips with the first set of workout still. You can familiarise yourself with the plan here.

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An ode to women who wear makeup in the gym

Girls who wear makeup in the gym
Source: Nicole Mason via Unsplash

It’s safe to say that women who wear makeup to the gym get a lot of abuse. Whether it’s from other women, or men, if you rock up to the gym with a full face of makeup chances are you’ve had some nasty stares.

I have been on the receiving end, and I’m ashamed to say, have also cast judgement on the made-up faces of fellow gym-goers. My question is why do we feel this way? It’s literally none of our business what someone else looks like when they exercise. It doesn’t affect our progress at all. It needs to stop.

It makes your skin bad – NOT YOUR PROBLEM. It’s not good for your pores –Again, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  You aren’t working out properly if you still have it on (erm, have you never heard of primer hun?) You are trying to impress men in the gym – Yeah cos I really want to jump that 50-year-old man with the pooch don’t I babes? My fictional argument could go on forever, the point is people need to grow up.

I guess I’ve become more aware of this issue because I’ve started going to the gym during my lunch break at work. I don’t have time to take my makeup off and reapply it in an hour, so it’s easier for me to either not wear it at all, or just leave it on while I work out. So yeah, that means sometimes I do my chest session with a smokey eye, so what? I also have microbladed brows (basically tattooed on) so I always look like I have full brows on and I wear fake tan. I don’t do these things to impress anyone else or ‘show off’ I do it because it makes me feel good.

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Unboxing fitness with JD Women

Do you remember when I attended an AMAZING blogger event at Hotel Gotham before Christmas?  If not, don’t worry I’ve got your back, link is here.

As part of the event, I was asked to choose a few pieces from the JD Women’s athleisure collection which would be gifted to me for Christmas. Now there was a bit of a mix up with my address and my box didn’t reach me until after Christmas so I haven’t been able to share what I chose with you. However, my box did arrive last week (in a very battered box which may have looked like a security risk) and the items were definitely worth the wait!

Instead of writing about what I received, why don’t I show you….

As you can see, we were pretty taken with these items. Since filming the video I have worn the Climalite leggings to the gym sooo much because they are the softest ones I own, also they are the only pair that don’t give me a camel toe when I pull them right up! Anyway, hope you enjoy this video and hopefully I will be making some more in the future.

Thanks to my lovely friend Helen McCarthy for editing this video and of course my galpal Jess (who’s blog is Philocalist) for helping me create my first video!

*All items included in the video were gifted to us by the wonderful team at JD Women’s. All opinions are my own.

GF8WG first week impressions

Nike Lunar charge trainersNike Lunar charge trainersNike Lunar charge trainers

(I was feelin’ my nails when I took these photos…)

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen my obsession with the #GF8WG hashtag. That’s because last week I started doing a new workout programme created by the amazing Grace Fit UK. After successfully completing one week of the programme, I wanted to share my first impressions and progress with you.

I chose Grace’s plan because I’ve been lacking structure in the gym for a while now and not seeing the results I want. Grace has been one of my key fitness inspirations over the past year (read my post here) and I hardly needed any convincing to purchase the plan. It was £35 for the 8-week workout plan and there was the option to buy a programme than included recipes for an extra £5. Grace’s programme comes in a lot cheaper than competitors like LDN Muscle (their bikini plan is around £80) so I thought it was well worth the money.

What’s in the #GF8WG programme?

The programme is split into legs, arms & chest, booty, shoulders & back, abs & cardio, and there are also upper body and lower body finishers to add to the end of your workout. There are two workouts for each split and you do them repeatedly for one month before swapping to the next month’s workout.

For example, I train legs workout one every Monday for four weeks, then swap to legs workout two for the other four weeks. You train for five days a week and have two rest days. This does sound quite strict but the programme does emphasise that you should listen to your body and take extra days rest if you need to.

First impressions

I’m absolutely loving the programme! I’m not going to lie, it is very hard work. I wouldn’t recommend it for a complete beginner to fitness because it is exhausting.

The exercises are all strength based and the plan includes very little cardio. This is the first time I’ve embarked on a weight dominated plan and I’ll admit I was worried that I wouldn’t be getting a good workout by eliminating my trusty cross-trainer. You know when you’re not drenched in sweat you don’t feel like you’ve worked out as hard? However, that’s not the case and I am KNACKERED by the time I finish a full Grace workout. I’m not enjoying having doms every day in places I never knew existed, but I’m hoping that will improve as I get stronger and more familiar with the moves.

Confidence

Even though it’s only been a week, following the Grace Fit UK programme has massively improved my confidence lifting weights and using the equipment in the gym.

First, it’s given me a structured plan to follow so I know exactly what to do and for how many sets/reps. I’m really enjoying doing splits on specific days as it feels a lot more efficient than training random body parts like I was doing.

Secondly, it’s taught me to be more confident in the ‘intimidating’ parts of the gym, aka the scary heavy weights section filled with huge men. I still do feel a bit intimidated walking into that section, and I’m sure I do look silly when I can’t complete a full set on the bench press using only the bar (it’s 20kg), but whatever, I’m still using the bench press and that’s pretty amazing!!

Wearing new gym gear has also made me feel like a boss in the gym. The trainers in my picture are the Nike Lunarcharge from JD Women’s range and they are incredible, putting them on feels like a comfy pair of slippers. I’ve also got quite a few new bits from JD Women’s, but you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled because there might be a video about that to come…

Motivation

The programme is much harder than anything I’ve tried before, but I’m so motivated to keep working at it.

One of the main reasons is because it’s a structured plan, so if I skip a workout I know I’ll fall behind and it will mess up my splits. This sounds like it could be a negative but I really enjoy it, it makes it easier for me to fit in to my day. I’ve started going to the gym during my lunch break at work as well which is having a massively positive impact on my day.

Another reason for my motivation is the Facebook group. Grace has created a private Facebook group for all the girls doing the programme (and ones who are interested in joining). I’m not usually a fan of groups and chats, the notifications get too much for me and I always leave without contributing. I didn’t even think I’d use it when I signed up (it’s optional by the way) but I thought I’d give it a go. I’m so happy that I did because the group is full of such support, motivation and love! Girls are sharing their personal experiences and it feels like we’re all on the journey together.

Sorry to get soppy, but I love it! I felt really embarrassed after my first chest session (dat dreaded bench press) and I wrote about what happened on the page and within a few minutes girls had commented on it telling me not to worry and that the same thing had happened to them. Encouragement like that makes it really easy to keep going. If you are thinking about getting the programme but aren’t sure I would highly recommend joining the group first, I’ll link it here.

Finally, I already feel like I’m making good progress. My entire body feels stronger, tighter and more muscular. I build muscle quite quickly and even after a week I can see muscles pop up and some definition appearing. I’m nowhere near Grace level yet, but it’s a start!

So there you go, my first impressions of the GF8WG! Hope you enjoyed my post. I’m going to try and write an update every week (they won’t always be this long I promise haha) and show you my progress. If you’re doing the programme too comment below!

You can follow me on twitter at @hannahgetshench and Instagram hannahlgilroy

Thanks for reading x